Institute for African Renaissance Studies (IARS)

Mothong Heritage Trust

This is one of the flagship projects under the environmental conservation programme of the Institute for African Renaissance Studies. The project is based on the development of a nursery on the outskirts of Mmamelodi Township in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality as an initiative for conserving the populations of indigenous medicinal and food plants. This project is part of the Heritage Development Sector of the African Renaissance discourse.

The criteria for selecting particular plants for the project is based on intensive public consultations on plants which face very high risks of exploitation, genetic erosion and extinction. The staff of the Institute for African Renaissance Studies associated with this project seeks to ensure that the populations of the species of plants involved continue to grow and evolve in well managed conditions.

The project involves the following steps:

  • Collecting a list of the medicinal and food plants in the Gauteng province which are currently facing a threat of extinction.
  • Identifying the sources of supply of the plants
  • Fencing of the site for the project
  • Acquiring a generator and drilling machine for pumping water to the site
  • Acquiring a water tank for storing water for the plants
  • Installing a container to serve as an office and a store at the site
  • Purchasing medicinal and fruit plants for the site. The plants will be grown in rows and carefully labelled, thus turning the site into a mini botanical garden.
  • Employing local workers at the site and providing them with the relevant education, management and other skills to ensure that some of the benefits of conserving the indigenous plants accrue to the local people.
  • Establishing a mechanism for communicating the importance of the project to the public.

This project fits in very well with the activities of international organizations such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, The World Health Organization, and the many African Union and South African government’s programmes on Environmental and Heritage Conservation.

Last modified: 2016/10/20